Aalto University Töölö – modernisation


ACRE - Aalto Yliopistokiinteistöt Oy




15 000 brm²



Lead Design

Arkkitehtitoimisto SARC Oy

Contract Type


A piece of Helsinki’s history was renewed

The renovation work of the iconic Aalto Töölö, designed by Woldemar Baeckman and Hugo Harmia and completed in the 1950s, has been completed on schedule. The modernisation project started in February 2019 has received a lot of positive attention from the start of the project to the time after the site fences were removed.

Fira Oy cooperated with Caverion Suomi Oy as the main contractor of the renovation site protected by the Finnish Museum Agency. The project has been nominated for the 2020 Construction Site and Construction Rose award.

After the Business School’s operations moved to Otaniemi, there was a need for the school’s renovation and the time was right. The building’s structures were partly at the end of their service life, the building technology was outdated, and as the operation changed, the space needs were also different. The future main user is Aalto EE, whose goal was to make the premises attractive and with high-quality surfaces, in which the original appreciation of art could come to the fore again. It was clear from the beginning of the project that it was a special case. The iconic building, familiar to many Helsinki residents, was completely renovated in terms of building technology. At the same time, the building’s accessibility and energy efficiency were improved.

Protected building

The building belongs to the international Docomomo register, i.e. modern architecture protected areas.

The ceramic reliefs on the brick facade designed by Michael Schilkin and the building’s ballrooms are strictly protected, and the repair and renewal plan was made in close cooperation with the Museum Agency.

“The modernization of the Töölö building was a very interesting and suitably challenging project. The implementation has been handled by a great team that I trust completely. This was a good continuation of our previous successes. For example, Paavo Tynell’s lamps, some of which are unique, designed only for this location, were taken away during the modernization and restored to their original glory,” says Pekka Sipponen, Fira’s modernization production manager.

In connection with the renovation, the building also received a new name, Aalto University Töölö.

Real-time digital snapshots increase transparency

At the Aalto University Töölö construction site, several digital applications have been used to enhance the implementation of the project and promote cooperation with subcontractors. Sitedrive software enables real-time views of schedules from the subcontractor to the customer. Real-time condition monitoring has been used at the construction site, the information model is in daily use and the Congrid application serves in quality management. With the help of these programs, views and discussions can be held in the same program between subcontractors, the main contractor and supervisors.

“Workplace information is collected with the help of digital applications in real time for the parties to see. The desired views are distributed on digital dashboadrd and can be changed as needed. For example, the conditions of the Aalto University Töölö construction site (temperature, humidity, pressure difference) were monitored on the site office’s info screen using wireless sensors from selected locations. In addition, Fira’s situation room made weekly “withdrawals” of possible deviations, which had to be acknowledged.” says Project Manager Jouni Juntunen of the project.

Top results with cooperation and professionalism

At Fira, the importance of cooperation is seen as an essential part of everyday work, and customers and partners are seen as equals. In this project, cooperation has been particularly emphasized due to the restrictions brought by the corona pandemic.

“The TR measurement results have been at a very high level throughout the site, and the attached corona measurement, the result of which has been 100%. Actions were taken immediately and the information provided to the customer has been particularly good”, says Mika Lindvall of Aalto-yliopistokinteistöt Oy.

“By working with a genuine partnership, we have saved not only the client’s money, but also Fira’s staff resources and time, because the changes in building technology can also be reviewed with the contractor making them at the same table together with the client”, Pekka Sipponen describes the successful cooperation with Caverion Suomi Oy.

When the schedule, quality, euros and meeting the customer’s goals/needs are met, you can only be satisfied. When they are exceeded, the performance must be excellent.

The client and Marja Kallio of Premico Oy have praised the agile implementation and smooth cooperation.

“When the schedule, quality, euros and meeting the customer’s goals/needs are met, you can only be satisfied. When they are exceeded, the performance must be excellent. These modern digital implementations have raised the project to a whole new level. So far, there have been no traditional confrontations between the client and the implementers on this site, all issues have been resolved together around the same table.”

More information

Project: Aalto University Töölö (formerly Helsinki University of Business and Economics)
Scope of the construction site: approx. 15,000 brm²
Duration of the site: 05/2019 – 10/2020
Project model: PJU with target budget and customer satisfaction evaluation
Main contractor: Fira Oy (cooperation partner Caverion Suomi Oy)
Client: KOy Runeberginkatu 14-16 (Aalto-yliopistokinteistöt Oy)
Supervision: Premico Oy
Architect design: SARC Architects
Construction planning: Nodetec Oy
Electrical planning: Sweco Oy
HVAC-planning: Sweco Oy

Customer satisfaction


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1 In planning
2 Under construction
3 Finished


Contact us

Lauri Kaunisvirta

Director | Customer relations & Sales, Construction services

+358 44 564 4872